Latest plans for A358 dualling between Taunton and Ilminster in Somerset revealed

National Highways has used interactive tools showing how the proposed A358 upgrade between Taunton and Ilminster could impact on people proved popular at recent consultation events.

A traffic flow webmap shows how the dualling of the route would affect traffic flows in 2028, when the scheme is predicted to open.

And a trip route and journey time webmap allows users to see how the upgrade will affect typical route and journey times on selected trips, reports the Somerset County Gazette.

Following more than 900 responses to a public consultation in 2021, National Highways has made further refinements to the proposed route including:

  • Nexus 25 junction – change from roundabout to signalised junction to accommodate signalised pedestrianised crossing and facilitate management of traffic in conjunction with M5 junction 25;
  • Mattocks Tree Green junction;
  • new connection at the eastern roundabout – for direct access to Village Road and onward travel to Hatch Beauchamp;
  • removing the direct link between Ash Road and Mattocks Tree Green junction to discourage rat-running;
  • West Hatch Lane extension – providing a new public road alongside the A358 to allow more direct access to Mattocks Tree Green junction;
  • bridge at Bickenhall Lane – moved further from Bickenhall Wood ancient woodland and access for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and disabled users and private farm access;
  • Capland Link – confirming that the link road is the chosen option and the route of the link road adjacent to the A358;
  • Jordans bridge – a new link and bridge over the A358 between Ashill junction and Southfields roundabout for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders and disabled users and private farm access.
Somerset County Gazette:

Katherine Liddington, senior project manager for the A358 scheme, said: “Since our 2021 consultation we’ve made some changes to our preliminary design, which will improve safety and access to local roads and reduce the impact on communities, the environment and the local landscape

“As part of our planning, we would like to hear your thoughts on our design changes before we submit our planning application later this year.”

The scheme aims to:

  • improve the capacity of the road to reduce delays and queues during peak hours and busy periods;
  • support economic growth through a free-flowing and reliable connection between the South East and the South West;
  • make the road safer, by providing additional capacity and improving routes for pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders in the area;
  • protect and improve the environment;
  • work with local communities to reduce the impact of the road and improve local people’s quality of life;
  • make journey times more reliable and resilient; by providing more capacity it will become easier to manage traffic when incidents occur.

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